Archives for posts with tag: SyrianRefugees
By, Meghan Carney, Montclair Student Diplomat, as published in Huffington Post
Wars are fought for many reasons, some clearly defined, others more obscure. Death is inevitable in combat, but the deaths of innocent bystanders shouldn’t be; unfortunately, it’s the reality of violent warfare. –More —

Lebanon - As Winter Storm Bears Down, UN & Partners Ramp Up Aid for Syrian Refugees

This weekend as we memorialize the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, let us also remember the innocent Syrian children robbed of their lives & innocence in the 1,000 days of conflict. Angelina Jolie: “We will look back with shame on this period, & be haunted by our collective failure to prevent this killing of innocents.…”

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is hopeful of a possible truce as the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, is approached at week’s end. Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for the Syrian crisis, appealed to Iranian authorities to assist in a ceasefire while in Tehran last week. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Nabil El Araby, Secretary General of League of Arab States, supported Mr. Brahimi’s efforts.

 Beneficiaries would be Syrian children positioned at numerous refugee camps, including in those outside Syria. As the numbers of displaced continue to escalate, along with tens of thousands of unregistered refugees and winter approaching, the situation is critical. However, Aleppo, one of the cities which has seen the greatest conflict is now pre-positioned to  receive emergency relief supplies. According to UNHCR’s Chief Spokesperson, Melissa Flemming  “if a truce happens, the agency is also dispatching 1,000 recreational items that a local non-governmental organization, the Syria Trust for Development, will distribute this week to children living in communal shelters in Damascus and Aleppo.”

UN News Centre Sources

More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began some 20 months ago. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, and over 340,000 have crossed the border to Syria’s neighbouring countries, according to UN estimates.

Addressing another news briefing in Geneva, the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) Regional Director for the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Daly Belgasmi, welcomed the possibility of the ceasefire as it would allow the food agency to preposition more food supplies, particularly areas made hard-to-reach because of the violence.

So far, WFP has managed to reach 1.5 million Syrians with food assistance, although access is still a major issue due to insecurity. Mr. Belgasmi said that refugees are being assisted through a cash voucher system, with families receiving $45 which enables them to buy quality food from local markets. In Turkey, with the assistance of the Turkish Red Crescent Society, WFP has managed to assist 13,000 Syrian refugees; in Lebanon, WFP aims to help at least 61,000 Syrian refugees, while in Jordan, the food agency reached 53,000 people in September.

However, Ms. Fleming said that the recent unrest in Lebanon has temporarily disrupted UNHCR operations there. Last Friday, a bomb explosion struck the Lebanese capital of Beirut, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Among the dead was General Wissam al-Hassan, a senior commander in the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.

The bombing has been followed by civil unrest in the capital, heightening existing fears that the conflict in neighbouring Syria could spill over into Lebanon and exacerbate the delicate sectarian balance already existing in the country.

Ms. Fleming said that many of the refugees in Lebanon are struggling to make ends meet on the open economy and complain of high prices. To ease the strain, the Government announced last week that it will waive a fee for Syrians wishing to renew residency permits. In addition, some 16,000 refugees have received food, blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits and baby kits from humanitarian agencies including UNHCR, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Susan Sacirbey

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From Bosnians ethnically cleansed, to displaced in Ecuador to African migrants in Italy to those still displaced by conflict in Afghanistan, Angelina Jolie has again returned to re-focus global attention on ever regressive human rights & humanitarian plight of Syrian refugees with thousands added to ranks of displaced every week, especially during brutal summer.

Debating before the UN Security Council, Turkey’s Foreign Minister for first time before UN Security Council proposed “safe zones & safe corridors” to secure safety of Syria civilians & also stem tide of refugees to neighboring countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq as well as Turkey.

The Syria conflict is already spilling over into Lebanon. There are thousands of Syrian refugees who have crossed over the border. How can the UN & World Food Program (WFP) help manage & enhance resources to feed, shelter, & meet needs of more, but also reduce tensions of need transforming into real conflict? –WATCH–

From a recent interview by Jordan’s King to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) the record of deliberate targeting of refugees & even camps across the border appears less coincidental and more systematic to some deranged methodology of Assad Regime. ”Refugees have reported being fired on by artillery & small arms fire while traveling to the border,” while attempting to cross into Jordan. –MORE–